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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton explains key change as a driver after experiencing 'dark place'

Now in his 17th season in Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton admits he has put in plenty of "background work" to develop as a driver during his career.

Lewis Hamilton has explained how he has changed as a Formula 1 driver over the years, with a key area being his approach to handling a bad race.

The seven-time World Champion is now in his 17th season in F1, and admits that he has put in a lot of work behind the scenes in order to continuously improve his craft.

"A lot of it's been done in the background," Hamilton told Australian broadcaster Fox Sports.

"So [that has been] in the processes in the background, in how I engage with engineers, how I am able to extract what I need from all the different sections, different departments."

How Hamilton has learned to bounce back

One of the main aspects of change for Hamilton has been in how he now deals with a difficult weekend in the sport, with the Mercedes driver saying that he no longer spends days in a "dark place".

"I think the 'bouncing back' scenario [has changed]," Hamilton explained.

"I think, particularly when I was younger, [when] I had a bad race, you couldn't talk to me for days.

"I was in such a dark place often, so being able to recover and [think], 'Past is past. Five minutes ago, I can't change that. What I can change is how I move forwards'.

"So that's something that was a huge step for me."

Other changes for Hamilton

Alongside this, Hamilton has developed his approach in a variety of areas.

"The physicality side of it, how you eat, how you prepare, time management, understanding of tyres... I understand the car so much more now than I did when I first got here, for example," he added.

"I was at the mercy of the engineers around me. I couldn't dictate a huge amount. I couldn't say, 'Hey, guys, this is the direction we need to go'.

"I can do that now. I know what I need in the car in order to do what I need to do, in order to be able to extract my performance and the performance of the car.

"So there [are] a lot of areas [where I have changed], and then there's a calmness in the mind that I have now that I didn't have then, so it comes with experience."

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